St. Maelruain’s Church of Ireland School, Jobstown, Dublin 24 is a five teacher school with 96 students located in a housing estate in Dublin 24.
Step 1: Green-Schools Committee
The Green-School’s Coordinator’s class which is made up of second, third and fourth class pupils makes up the committee.
Step 2: Environmental Review
The An Taisce Green-Schools Baseline travel survey was carried out at the beginning of the Travel theme and revealed that there was already a good number of students walking to school at 41% as a lot of students live nearby. The percentage using the Park ‘n’ Stride option was zero so it was thought that those who came by car could try this. A Walkability Audit of the local area was also undertaken. Positives and negatives as regards walking in the area were recorded and a report was sent into South Dublin County Council for consideration.
Step 3: Action Plan
To raise awareness for the new theme the committee performed a whole school assembly entitled ‘These feet were made for walking’. Other actions included poster competitions to promote the WOW launch, a WOW launch at which the local Community Garda and the Tallaght Echo were present, a Christmas Santa dress up walk, road safety workshops from the Gardai and bike maintenance workshops from Halfords.
Step 4: Monitoring & Evaluation
Each class kept a record of how students travelled to school each Wednesday and at the end of each month the Walk on Wednesday Cup was presented at assembly to the class with the biggest percentage of green travellers. The An Taisce Travel surveys were carried out four times during the course of the two years spent working on the travel theme. In this time the number of students walking has increased and the number reliant on the car has reduced. The number of students choosing the Park n’ Stride option has also increased.
Step 5: Curriculum Work
All teachers from Junior Infants to sixth Class have included lessons relating to travel during the course. For Junior Infants classes these included ‘what we see and hear on the way to school’, the benefits of exercise and healthy eating and the safe cross code. First and Second Class looked at the history of transport, keeping fit and the food pyramid. Third and fourth class explored travel in the past particular around 1916, they also enjoyed cycle safety workshops from Halfords. Fifth and Sixth class looked at renewable and non-renewable energy sources and also carried out a travel survey which focused on maths.
Step 6: Informing & Involving
In February 2016 the whole school enjoyed a Travel Week of Action which included travel themed lessons and workshops, travel quizzes and poster competitions. The parents were all invited to the special travel themed assembly that week where they were informed of all the great achievements and work the teachers and students had put into the travel theme. The parents are also kept abreast of initiatives and achievements through the Green-Schools notice-board, website, Facebook page, and notes home.
Step 7: Green Code
To come up with the green code for Travel a completion was held and the GS Coordinator announced the winning code at the assembly during the Travel Week of Action. The code is displayed on the GS notice board and in each classroom and has been learned off by heart by all students.